Life

By Mollie Mansfield


A 10 year old girl whose headache caused a brain bleed which led to a fatal heart attack has been saved despite being clinically dead for six minutes.

Young Laila Stanhope initially complained that she had a headache on March 19 – but it wasn’t until she had a seizure on a friends driveway her mum, Charley, 28, realised how serious her condition was.

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After immediately calling for an ambulance she was taken to their local hospital and, after being transferred, was placed into an induced coma.

Four days after arriving at hospital Laila suffered a fatal heart attack, where she died for a total of six-minutes before being resuscitated, which was the result of a bleed in her brain caused by the previous seizure.

But three weeks on, Laila is now in a stable condition, however Charley, from Basildon, Essex, doesn’t yet know if she’ll suffer long term brain damage.

Charley, a security guard, said: “We were in the car just minutes away from our house when she complained she had a headache.

“By the time we’d got to the door, she was having a seizure on the driveway in front of me.

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“As soon as she was in the ambulance she looked completely lifeless as though she had already died.

“When we got there she was put into an induced coma, and doctors realised she had a blood clot covering two thirds of her brain.

“It was only the next day that she had the heart attack and died for six-minutes before they thankfully resuscitated her, it was something no mother should have to witness.

“It’s just terrifying that something as simple as a headache can actually be something so major, and that’s why I want to raise awareness.”

Since being admitted to hospital in March, Laila has endured regular draining of the fluid in her brain to try and minimise the damage.

However Charley says that it could be months until her daughter is told if she will have life-long brain damage.

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She said: “Laila is now in a more stable condition, however she has suffered a total of 16 seizures and has been violently sick for the past six days.

“She now has a permanent shunt in her head that will drain the blood to reduce the pressure on her brain, as the clot itself cannot be removed as the hospital cannot operate on it.

“I’m just thankful that she pulled through, as there was a point where I truly believed that she wasn’t going to make it.

“After her heart attack, Laila was only being kept alive by machines, at one point I even told them to just let her go peacefully.

“I told them to not resuscitate her if she died again, because I didn’t want her to be in pain, and like that she turned it around and started breathing again.

“But despite having made an amazing recovery from how she was just a few weeks ago, Laila is still lifeless.

“Her eyes are open, but it’s like no one’s there – she’s not reactive or interactive and we don’t know if she ever will be again.”

Charley is now sharing her daughter’s unique story to encourage people to double-think what seem like ordinary pains.

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She said: “I was assuming that I would be able to take Laila home and give her some medicine and it all be ok, but it wasn’t.

“It just shows that sometimes life-threatening illnesses can be masked in something that is so simple, because that’s what we expect.

“This has just shown me that I am going to be more cautious there’s an illness in the family, as it could be everything and it shouldn’t be disregarded.

“Hopefully what’s happened to Laila will help save someone else’s life and stop people being in this position themselves.”

She is also raising money to fund her time visiting Laila in hospital, to donate please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/prayforlaila